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塞翁失马,焉知非福

sài wēng shī mǎ , yān zhī fēi fú
塞翁失马,焉知非福
A loss, no bad thing


塞翁:an old man's name
失:loss
马:horse
焉:how can
知:know
非:isn't
福:fortune


In ancient times at the north frontier lived an old man. His horse ran across the Great wall to the habitat of Hu ethnicity. His fellow villagers consoled him that it might not have been a misfortune. A few days later, the lost horse headed back with a group of Hu people. Everyone went to congratulate him, but the old man thought otherwise. He kept many good horses at home and his son fonded riding on the horseback to frolic around. The other day his son broke his own leg from falling off a horse. Again people came to comfort him, but the old man had a different view. In time his son evaded the warfare owing to his wounded leg.
 
古代塞北的一老汉家的马跑到长城外面胡人那边去了,乡亲们安慰他,他说这不一定是坏事,几天后走失的马带领着一群胡人的骏马回来了。人们都去祝贺他,老翁 却认为这不一定是好事,他家里有很多好马,他儿子喜欢骑着玩,有一天,他的儿子因骑胡马摔断了腿,人们都来安慰他,他却认为不是坏事,后老汉儿子因腿伤而 躲过战祸。

【原文】:《淮南子•人间训》:“夫祸福之转而相生,其变难见也。近塞上之人,有善术者,马无故亡而入胡,人皆吊之。其父曰:‘此何遽不为福乎?’居数 月,其马将骏马而归,人皆贺之。其父曰:‘此何遽不为祸乎?’家富良马,其子好骑,堕而折其髀,人皆吊之。其父曰:‘此何遽不为福乎?’居一年,胡人大入 塞,丁壮者引弦而战,近塞之人,死者十九,此独以跛之故,父子相保。故福之为祸,祸之为福,化不可极,深不可测也。”